Best Huarache 

La Torta Loca

What we're really talking about here is an antojito, a hand-held appetizer that imitates a Mexican huarache sandal. Stuffed with a thin layer of refried pinto beans, a thick corn tortilla serves as a foundation for a green or red chile sauce sprinkled with dry cheese and topped with meat or nopales (cactus). Only recently has this culinary delight, with roots in Oaxaca, appeared in the East Bay -- several restaurants now offer huaraches. Tops, though, is La Torta Loca, where you can sample the Mexico City version surrounded by photos of the capital city that hang on the walls. With a menu of sopes, quesadillas, tostadas, flautas, pambasos, tacos, tortas and yes, huaraches, it's a smorgasbord of handmade maiz (corn) delicacies which, accompanied by a fruit- or rice-flavored agua (water drink), is muy sabroso (tasty). The restaurant also runs a stand at 3419 International, with an outdoor counter for that hanging-on-the-street eating experience.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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